With the Korean Animal Association for Animal Protection (KAAP), we reported the Mayor and officials of Paju City to the police for violation of animal rights laws and neglect and dereliction of duty for allowing the live burial of pigs infected with African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) following the recent outbreak in South Korea.
On September 17th, there was an outbreak of ASFV on a pig farm in the Yeondasan District of Paju City in Gyeonggi Province.
Around 11:40 AM the same day, we visited the Paju City Agricultural Technology Center’s livestock division with KAAP to discuss the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and ensure that the more humane culling technique of gassing was used.
Because the culling ground was quarantined and inaccessible to the public on the day of culling, we could only verify the presence of around 80 carbon dioxide tanks and Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) containers used to bury the gassed pigs.
We also monitored the procedures via a drone used by the press to film the events. Through this, we were able to verify that the pigs were rounded up inside an enclosure into which carbon dioxide was introduced. However, monitoring became more difficult when the sun had set.
On September 18th, there were reports by OhMyNews revealing that some conscious pigs were placed inside the FRP containers. As a result, we and KAAP reported the Mayor and officials of Paju City to the police for ignoring this situation.
Culling pigs infected by ASFV is an unavoidable task, but following the guidelines and laws to ensure humane killing is an absolute necessity, and the least we can do for these unfortunate animals.
We call for the government to become more active in enforcing humane culling methods in accordance with the Animal Protection Act.
We will continue to observe and follow up on the African Swine Fever Virus issue and the prosecution progress.
Photograph: Yelim Lee/AFP/Getty Images